SDA cuts up to 40 jobs

The difficult situation of the Swiss media is having an impact on the Swiss Dispatch Agency (SDA). Switzerland's national news agency is undergoing a comprehensive reorganization. This will lead to a reduction of up to 40 of the 180 jobs over the next two years.


Although SDA was able to renew contracts with its most important customers, the news agency expects a 9.6 percent decline in sales to 29.5 million francs due to heavy price pressure, SDA management announced on Monday. At the operating result (Ebit) level, a loss of 1.9 million francs is likely to result.

Against this background, a restructuring of SDA is unavoidable. In total, 35 to 40 jobs will be cut. In order to cushion the job cuts, a social plan of 1.5 to 2 million francs is planned, the statement added. Employees who are affected by redundancies will be offered the opportunity to receive outplacement counseling.

AWP takes over business service

In order to keep the number of redundancies as low as possible, a job freeze has already been in place since fall 2017. Expiring contracts with trainees will not be renewed. Furthermore, there are early retirements and staff reductions.

As part of a consultation process, the cadres and the editorial commission of SDA will be given the opportunity to submit proposals for restructuring in order to find optimal solutions.

In the future, business reporting will be handled by AWP, a news agency belonging to the SDA Group. The SDA regional editorial offices will continue to provide business reports from their region.

Regional network remains intact

SDA will merge the domestic and foreign editorial teams. Coverage of national and international topics from politics, culture, science, society and sports is guaranteed. However, the scope will decrease. The network of regional offices at 13 locations in Switzerland will be maintained. In addition, SDA will strengthen its presence in the regions and its proximity to customers in the coming years.

The restructuring of SDA is taking place independently of the merger with the Keystone picture agency announced at the end of October 2017, which still has to be approved by the Federal Competition Commission. The merger is to be completed retroactively as of January 1, 2018. In the period 2018 to 2020, Keystone_SDA will not pay any dividends. With the merger, Keystone_SDA will become an innovative, multimedia media company with strong roots in the regions.

Imprint "dismayed

The journalists' association Imprint calls the announced job cuts a "drastic, extremely painful step. The fact that, according to the management, the job cuts have nothing to do with the recently announced merger is unbelievable and such a statement to the employees is unworthy, the association criticizes. After all, SDA's major owners include financially strong media groups such as Tamedia, Impressum argues. These owners are also customers of the SDA and thus partly responsible for the drop in revenue. The weakening of the SDA is therefore not the result of economic necessity, as the management is portraying it. It is recalled that SDA plays an important role in providing the Swiss population with information, and that SDA is also financed with public funds, in that the public sector acts as a customer, and in that the federal government has even announced subsidies from 2018. From this point of view, the unilateral weakening of the democracy-relevant information service by the SDA, decided by the owners, is particularly objectionable, the statement said. (SDA/hae)

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